The article does a great job of giving a real insight into the motivations of the teams 24-7 sends to Ibiza each summer. It manages to give a sense of the way that while they have a clear agenda that is in opposition to many of the chief draws of Ibiza as a holiday destination, they are not seeking to condemn and are genuinely interested in building relationships, and in enjoying the more wholesome sides of Ibizan life.
While 24-7 grew out of a sphere of the UK church that I am not particularly comfortable with, it’s manifestation in Reading was one of the few places where I’ve experienced true ecumenicalism and I was always impressed by the work they did with local troubled kids who found in its former building a place to hang out and be respected. Talking with Andy Wilson when he visited in October it was clear that there are a lot of interesting conversations taking place within the 24-7 leadership.
The rootedness in the local community so evident in Reading is harder to accomplish in a place of such transient population as Ibiza. It was reassuring to read in the article that most of the focus of the 24-7 teams was in building up relationships with the less transient population of club promoters and local business owners, people who are located there long enough for real relationships to be developed and to whom longer term service could be offered.
I’m still processing much of what’s in the article, but after six weeks concentrated on the oppressive role of a condemning, negative church in US politics, it was certainly a refreshing read.